In points out that the year actually improved their

In this modern society gap year is a widely known and prevalent concept. Moving
out of home, and setting out to dicover oneself promises world of adventures, chances
and dire changes in ones usual way of living. Already existing research
done on gap year shows a great number of perks of taking a year off between finishing
school and before the enrollment into university. In his book “Gap
Year: How Delaying College Changes People in Ways the World Needs” Joe O’Shea mentions that
through several surveys researchers discovered that students who took a “year
off” entered college on equal rates with those who commenced their studies
right after finishing school. In addition, he points out that the year actually
improved their academic performance in college, especially of those who
graduated school with lower average grades. (Birch and Miller 2007; Crawford
and Cribb 2012). Throughout the last ten years the increased number of students
taking a gap year brought a mass attention to the topic ,thus creating a
controversial debate. However, the abundance of analysis and articles written
in favour of the gap year advocate the pros over any cons of the argument. The
additional year brings immense
improvement in psychological development of young adults by boosting their
self-confidence and enhancing personal and social growth.

 

Starting a new chapter in
life can be daunting for most people, but for some it seems even more
terrifying. The stress of an unfamiliar school, mostly independent learning style
and for some even a move to a different country after years of hassle of keeping
up with school classes, homework and extracurricular activities might put a lot of
pressure and strain on a juniors body and mind. Gap year provides a much needed
break from academics for students to recharge and work on oneself. The year can
be spent doing sports,volunteering, studying a course abroad or working.These
activities widely influence young adults in a positive matter. For example, in
his study of students living in Europe for a semester, G.Gmelch notes that at
the end most of them acknowledged two main areas of change.The first one is a boost
of self-confidence in unfamiliar environment and situations. One student
mentions an embarassing story that she encountered and overcame refering to it
as a “mental victory”. Another advance in students’ personalities was an increase
in adaptability. Without the comfort of their own home they learned to handle
and confront unfamiliar situations a lot better than previous to their
travells. (G.Gmelch,1997). Futhermore a great deal of interntional companies
now offer temporary jobs and internship opportunities to help young adults
explore various career paths.In addition these programs help teenagers fullfill
their ambitions and gain experience for the upcoming start of university life
and adulthood.

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Although
a lot of students choose to take that time to gain working experience, the
majority of them still prefer traveling as a main purpose of obtaining a year
off. Travelling throughout the world for a year certainly broadens horizons and
possibly changes how a person perceives the world around him or her. Hence why in Haigler & Nelson
independent study of 280 gap year students they outline main outcome of a gap
year  being: “A better understanding of
other countries, people, cultures, and ways of living”. During those twelve
months students grow exceptionally
personally by gaining life and work experience and are inclined futher to explore
study and career options. Moreover, U.K. Foreign Secretary, J. Straw  advertised Gap Year reasoning that  it brings more maturity and responsibility
into youngsters. In addition, society only benefits from this program as it
actively encourages personal development and confidence. (as cited in Simpson,
2005). People and the experiences encountered during this journey teach lessons
that can not be taught in a classroom.

 

However,
according to the life span theory of control postponing grogress in transition
brings unfavorable results and poor welfare. As reported by Heckhausen and his co-workers
(e.g., Heckhausen & Schulz, 1995; Haase et al., 2008; Heckhausen, Wrosch,
& Schulzn, 2010)  it is crucial to achieve
a number of goals  before the progression
to another stage which becomes a somewhat developmental deadline. Concentrating
on aims helps young adults to focus on success and lower any chance of failure
which can be increased by avoiding or delaying transitions. Also, there are
several complications to keep in mind before taking a year off. Money can be a
huge problem considering that most volunteering and tourist programs are not
free, and with additional travel fees it might be a heavy burden for a
pre-college student to handle. For some people parental financial support is
not an option, so they might struggle with paying their own utilities, hotel
and travel fees. Futhermore, even though it is a time of self-development, be
it traveling or working it means learning to connect with others on your own
without the usual support of friends or family.

 

It is important to weigh up
all advantages and drawbacks and make a well-structured plan so as to not waste
the invested energy,time and money during this year.In any case,despite a few disadvantages
that a gap year has it still is a great opportunity to learn about oneself, gain
vital skills for future studies and employment and experience the best life can
offer.